One of the biggest challenges in college is reading all of the assigned material in every class. The task seems unmanageable and oftentimes that makes it easy to forget about until the last hours before an exam or paper.
Here you will find some key strategies you can use to conquer the reading in enough time to also have time to study. Reading takes time, but with added efficiency and comprehension, you can read smarter and not longer.
TIPS FOR READING
LOOK THROUGH THE CHAPTER AS A PREVIEW
See what you’re up against and make sure you know the background before beginning. If the chapter is on algebra, shouldn’t you make sure you know addition and subtraction first? The same goes for sciences courses, and others. Get a good foundation and then dive right in.
HAVE A REALISTIC TIME EXPECTATION
Some students can read really quickly while other need additional time to absorb the information. Give yourself enough time to read, comprehend, and then study the material. Know your reading speed and ability; plan accordingly.
LEARN & UNDERSTAND THE VOCABULARY FIRST
Textbooks already bold important terms (no need to highlight them again) so you don't have to search for these while reading. Try learning these overly emphasized terms ahead of time so you can focus your attention on other less obvious important information.
KEEP UP WITH THE CLASS
In addition to a realistic expectation, reading as the class goes on prevents cramming before an exam. Reading takes time, and when tests pile up. you'll wish you had taken the time to read it ahead of time so you can focus on the studying part.
SEEK HELP IF READING IS EXTRA DIFFICULT
Sometimes, learning disabilities go undiagnosed until the material becomes too overwhelming. If you think you might have a disability, such as dyslexia, ask for help. The Department of Student Affairs’ Counseling Office and Office of Disability Services can provide you with community resources for evaluation.
FALL IN LOVE
There is no easy way to encourage students to love the material they are covering. But remember this is the career you have chosen and every word will help one of your patients down the road. Treat each chapter as if you’ll need it to heal someone. Love it all because this is your passion and will contribute to your dream. If you don’t believe that about a particular reading assignment, make yourself feel that way. Make it relevant. Court the text until your relationship matures.
REVIEW WHAT YOU READ
What good is it if you’ve put all this effort in and came out not knowing at all what you just looked at for hours? Review it repeatedly each day to internalize it. Skim each day after and make sure you can tell yourself exactly what you read the day and days before. Don’t let it get rusty.
DO SOMETHING WITH THE READING
Once you are finished, rephrase it to a classmate. Make a list of questions you have and bring them to your professor’s office hours. Write a summary in bullet-point form after you have read the material, as an added check point. Let the reading come alive and actually benefit you. After all, that’s what it’s there for.